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NJ IGNITE- ERA UPDATE


NJ Ignite provides grants to NJEDA-approved collaborative workspaces for the benefit of early stage innovation economy businesses that locate in New Jersey. 

ELIGIBILITY

To receive NJ Ignite funding, a collaborative workspace must:

  • Be located in New Jersey. 
  • Possess a Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate and a NJ Business Registration Certificate. 
  • Have a minimum of five unique paying tenants over the last two years. 
  • Provide proof of a verifiable operating cost.
  • Offer private office space, hot-desks, or dedicated desks. 
  • Commit to hosting at least eight innovation ecosystem building events in a year.
  • Charge market-rate rent to tenants. 
  • Commit to matching the NJEDA’s grant funding on a 1:2 basis. 

Workspaces formed less than 90 days prior to the approval request may qualify for Ignite if they have at least three signed prospective lease agreements. 

To participate in the program, startup company tenants must locate in an approved collaborative workspace and: 

  • Be registered to do business in New Jersey. 
  • Provide a two-page executive summary of their business. 
  • Be an early-stage business in a qualified industry.
  • Have fewer than ten employees.
  • Have less than $1 million in trailing 12-months gross sales from date of application submission. 
  • Have at least one full-time, New Jersey-based employee that will be working in approved collaborative workspace. 
  • Have no history of leased space at another collaborative workspace in New Jersey.
  • Commit to working at the collaborative workspace for at least double the term covered by the NJEDA grant.  

AWARD SIZE

Combined NJEDA grants and matching collaborative workspace contributions cover a participating tenant’s rent payments for a period of three months, up to 14 months or $25,000, including bonus support available for workspaces and eligible businesses that meet certain criteria.

The full statutory text of the program can be found in sections 92-97 of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020.

Qualified Industries for tenant companies include:

  • Advanced computing,
  • Advanced materials,
  • Biotechnology,
  • Electronic device technology,
  • Information technology,
  • Food technology,
  • Life sciences,
  • Medical device technology, 
  • Health care technology,
  • Logistics technology,
  • Mobile communications technology,
  • Agriculture technology, and
  • Renewable energy.

Bonus Criteria

The NJEDA will provide bonus support to workspaces that are:

  • Located in an Opportunity Zone.
  • Affiliated with a hospital system or New Jersey university. 
  • Established within 90-days of tenant application.

The NJEDA will also provide bonus support to tenants that are:

  • Certified woman- or minority-owned businesses.
  • The first presence of a foreign company entering into the United States.

These bonuses can be combined for up to 5 additional months of support.

*The New Jersey Ignite Program is a legislative program approved under the Economic Recovery Act and operates independently from the NJ Ignite pilot program approved by the EDA in 2018.

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